THROUGH THE ALLEYS OF TIME
for guitar and sound track
guitar and soundtrack
Legacy Heritage Fund, Morasha Fund
through the America-Israel Cultural Foundation
9 February 2008
Tel Aviv, Israel
Through the Alleys of Time – for classical guitar and tape focuses on the Ladino language, culture and way of life – left behind, as the older generation is passing away. My feeling for the disappearing tradition came mainly during a visit to Córdoba and Sevilla, where the alleys seemed to tell me the old story of the long-gone local communities. I could imagine a flourishing and vivid community, which after 1492 had to flee in every direction, bringing its language and tradition into new places such as Greece and Bulgaria.
The music tells the story of a troubadour – a folk singer, who passes from village to village, town to town in search of a certain song, while many fragments of other songs, prayers and chants appear before him. These include Jewish prayers, traditional Ladino – Judæo-Espagnol songs, talking, story-telling, as well as influences of the Christianity and Islam, since during the Golden Age in Andalucía all three religions have skilled to live peacefully and enriched each other.
All the recorded fragments are fully authentic, giving stage to old men and women who have been asked to sing songs as remembered from childhood. They are/were probably the last link in a long chain, since these songs, language and expressions were not transmitted fully (if at all) to the next generation. I am grateful for the work of Dr. Shoshana Weich-Shahak who, as a life-long project had traced singers and possible informants, made these recordings with such dedication and passion and most kindly, allowed me to use fragments of them. Thus, the work as a whole is a passage through time, where voices, sounds, images from the past appear before our troubadour, who does not end his wondering until discovering his long-waited song – La Serena.
In additional to the authentic recordings, one may find the sounds of soprano, oud, laud, recorders, viola da gamba, percussion and additional guitar, which were all recorded separately and went through a sound manipulation. This is in additional to field recordings that I have done in Spain.
I would like to thank and credit the following people:
Monica Garcia-Albea, soprano
Lara Morris, recorders
Myrna Herzog, viola da gamba
Guy Kark, oud and laud
Liat Cohen, classical guitar
Avi Agababa, percussion
Sound Track Editing and Mixing: Dmitry Lifshitz, Yossi Ron
Sound engineers: Eldad Berman (Tel Aviv), Marcus Fritzsch (Berlin), Pierre Fardel (Paris.)
Dr. Shoshana Weich-Shahak for her kind support and assistance in locating the authentic recordings.
The National Sound Archives (Jerusalem, Israel)
Yad Ben-Zvi Library (Jerusalem, Israel) Sebastián de la Obra and Rosana de Aza – Casa De Sefarad (Córdoba)
Through the Alleys of Time has been commissioned by the Legacy Heritage Fund, through the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, with dedication to Guitarist Liat Cohen.
Tape includes authentic recordings of singers, story-tellers, sounds from South Spain as well as recorded soprano, oud, lute, viola da gamba, recorders and percussion.